The Latest - Afghanistan

Afghanistan Latest

17th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Afghan commandos free 58 from Taliban prison

Bill Roggio

Afghan commandos raided a Taliban jail in the highly contested province of Helmand and freed 58 prisoners, according to the Afghan military. The Taliban has been operating prisons in Helmand for at least three years. more...

16th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

UN: Taliban remains prime culprit in Afghan civilian casualties

Thomas Joscelyn

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its latest report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan yesterday. Once again, UNAMA has identified the Taliban as the prime culprit when it comes to civilian deaths and injuries. more...

10th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban again equates their Islamic Emirate with the Afghan nation

Bill Roggio

The Taliban reiterated yesterday that it views itself as the sole representative of the Afghan people, while those who fight for the Afghan government are “puppets” of the United States. The Taliban made these points and more in a statement that addressed the International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in the Republic of Afghanistan, which is being held in Saudi Arabia today and tomorrow. The statement was released on July 9 in English on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website. more...

9th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban brands upcoming religious scholar conference as ‘an absolute anti-Islamic US process’

Bill Roggio

The Taliban railed against an upcoming conference of religious scholars that will be held in Saudi Arabia later this week as “illegitimate” and urged Islamic clerics to boycott the meeting. The International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in the Republic of Afghanistan will be held in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina on July 10-11. more...

5th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Pentagon continues to underestimate al Qaeda, downplay ties to Taliban

Bill Roggio

The US Department of Defense continues to ignore fundamental facts in spinning its latest narrative. Yet again, the Pentagon underestimates al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan while downplaying the group’s ties to the Taliban. more...

26th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban: We’re ‘another name of the Afghan nation’

Bill Roggio

In a recent statement that addressed comments by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Taliban reiterated that it considers itself the sole representative of the Afghan people. This is at odds with the opinion of some analysts who advise the US government on policy with respect to a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. more...

24th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban captures more than 70 Afghan police in attack near the capital

Bill Roggio

The Afghan Taliban captured more than 70 Afghan policemen and took over a number of outposts after clashing with security forces in Jalrez district in the province of Wardak, just south of Kabul. The Afghan government is maintaining its unilateral ceasefire despite the current Taliban offensive. more...

23rd June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Pakistani Taliban appoints new emir after confirming death of Mullah Fazlullah

Bill Roggio

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) confirmed that the US killed Mullah Fazlullah and appointed Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud (Wali) as its new emir. The TTP appears to be returning to its roots by selecting a prominent commander from the Mehsud tribe to lead the organization. more...

8th June 2018 – The Weekly Standard

Credulity as Policy

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, announced June 7 that his government’s forces would unilaterally enter into a ceasefire with the Taliban until June 20. It remains to be seen how the Taliban responds. The jihadists didn’t agree to the plan beforehand and may simply use the lull in fighting to plan the next wave in their nationwide assault on the government. more...

4th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Suicide bomber strikes religious conference in Kabul

Thomas Joscelyn

A suicide bomber struck a meeting of the Afghan Ulema Council (AUC) in Kabul earlier today. The Taliban's spokesman denied that his group had any connection to the attack. However, the Islamic State claimed responsibility via its Amaq News Agency, which released two short messages on the "martyrdom" operation. more...

3rd June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban operations span the entire country, Afghan Interior Ministry confirms

Bill Roggio

The Taliban are operating in all regions of Afghanistan and casualties among Afghan police have increased, according to the Ministry of Interior. This directly contradicts overly optimistic assessments by both Resolute Support and the Pentagon. more...

2nd June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban says negotiations are ‘pointless’ as long as coalition forces occupy Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

"Talking to impotent parties [the Afghan government] during the presence of occupying forces is pointless," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an official statement released on Voice of Jihad. more...

31st May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban and Islamic State target religious opponents in Afghanistan

Thomas Joscelyn

According to a State Department report published this week, the Taliban continues "to assassinate and threaten religious leaders with death for preaching messages contrary to" its "interpretation of Islam or its political agenda.” As part of its widespread assassination campaign, Taliban gunmen have been killing "imams and other religious officials throughout the country.” more...

31st May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State releases photo of 10-man team responsible for Kabul raid

Thomas Joscelyn

The US military initially assessed that an attack on Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior in Kabul yesterday wasn't the work of the Islamic State, but instead the Taliban's Haqqani Network. However, the Islamic State's so-called Khorasan province quickly claimed responsibility for the operation. And today, the group released a photo purportedly showing the 10-man (or adolescent) team responsible. more...

30th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists attack Afghan interior ministry in Kabul

Thomas Joscelyn

A team of jihadists assaulted Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior in Kabul earlier today. It is the latest in a string of attacks inside the Afghan capital this year. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State's Khorasan "province" are able to hit targets inside the city. more...

29th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Afghan forces withdraw from district center in Uruzgan as the Taliban attacks

Bill Roggio

The security situation in the south continues to deteriorate. An Afghan official admitted security forces abandoned the governor's compound and police headquarters in Chora district. The Taliban claims it overran all 17 security outposts and controls the district center. more...

27th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban suicide bomber hits Afghan forces in Helmand

Bill Roggio

The Taliban claimed it killed more than 100 Afghan soldiers, policemen, and tribal fighters, while one Afghan official admitted 17 soldiers were killed and 21 more were wounded. more...

24th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US strike hits Taliban ‘command and control node’ in Helmand

Bill Roggio

The Taliban denied that a command center was hit and claimed two civilian homes were destroyed in the strike. more...

23rd May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

New reports from Afghanistan give false hopes for peace

Bill Roggio

As US, European, and Afghan officials cling to the idea that the Taliban will negotiate a peace settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, a recent string of news articles would lead you to believe that the Taliban is actually willing to reach a compromise. However, these stories are highly... more...

20th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban overruns second district in Ghazni

Bill Roggio

Security in Ghazni province has deteriorated rapidly over the past year. Of Ghazni's 19 districts, the Taliban control five and contest nine more, according to information compiled by FDD's Long War Journal. The provincial capital is threatened by the Taliban. more...

Experts

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Bill Roggio

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Events

5th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?

A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer

Speaking about organizations claiming allegiance to al Qaeda, President Barack Obama stated that "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The president’s remarks have sparked yet another debate about whether al Qaeda is weakened, whether it is resurgent, or whether it was ever weakened in the first place.  Has the Arab Spring spawned a surge in jihadism? Are these organizations taking advantage of the new environment in the region, or is the expansion of jihadist groups largely independent of the revolutions? How well is Washington’s current approach to al Qaeda working? If the group is growing despite U.S. efforts, how do we put our policies on the right track?

20th August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: On Life Support or an Imminent Threat?

A Conversation with Eli Lake, Thomas Joscelyn and Cliff May

Twelve years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and more than two years after Osama bin Laden was killed, how great of a threat is al Qaeda to the U.S. homeland and America’s interests abroad? Has the instability in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and throughout Africa allowed al Qaeda to grow in size and power? How should the latest threats against America’s diplomatic facilities, paired with the recent prison breaks in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere impact U.S. counterterrorism strategy?